I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had been given two opportunities that were out of my comfort zone. One was giving the devotional at a baby shower I mentioned earlier: the other is speaking at a ladies’ luncheon at another church this Saturday.
When I told a friend I had received both of these offers the same day, she said, “Maybe the Lord is trying to tell you something.” I sure hope not!! As I said in regards to the baby shower, I am much more comfortable writing, where I can ponder, think, rewrite, delete, etc. — and no one is looking right at me. 🙂
Yet somehow, though one part of me dreaded this opportunity, anther part is excited about it.
I have to say I don’t envy preachers. Oh, I think it would be wonderful to have one’s primary job studying the Word of God in order to share it! Sadly, I think for too many preachers that time often gets crowded out with other duties. But in combing over a passage and a topic trying to discern what to say — that’s the hard part (well…besides standing in front of people to speak). A former pastor, Dr. Mark Minnick, used to say that when he first started preaching, he studied a passage with the question, “What can I say about this passage?” He began to realize that that was the wrong question: the right one is, “What does this passage say?” There is all the difference in the world between those two questions. One is imposing my own thoughts on the passage; the other is bringing out what the passage itself says.
Then, the more I study and think about it, the more there is to say, but I have to keep this down to about 20 minutes! I can understand how easily pastors can preach overtime or start a message and have it end up a series.
Then I have to fight against the temptation to want it all to be well-worded and well-crafted. There’s nothing wrong with that, and I think that can enhance the message, but my carnal heart would want that as it’s goal rather than its tool. The goal should not be for people to think well of my little talk or to think I did a good job, but to come away with the truth of the passage on their hearts.
Once again I’d like to ask those of you who pray, if you think of it, to pray that I’ll say just what the Lord wants me to and that all the little physical issues I wrestle with that flare up when I get nervous would not flare up. I would be most thankful!